Thumb CMC Joint Interposition Arthroplasty Surgery

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Evolution of Thumb CMC Joint Interposition Arthroplasty Surgery

Surgical treatment of thumb CMC joint arthritis involves removing the damaged cartilage surfaces of the metacarpal and the trapezium bones where they meet at the joint. There are several ways to put metal implants in one or both of the bones, such as happens with total hip or knee replacements. These procedures seem to wax and wane in popularity and the implants have been prone to complications historically. As such, a more tried and true way to treat thumb CMC joint arthritis focuses on removing the trapezium bone all together. Following this step, surgeons often place some type of cushion under the base of the metacarpal bone; this is called interposition arthroplasty, because the surgeon is placing a cushion between (interposing) the joint surfaces. One of several available tendons from the wrist, or several biologic membrane substances can be used to create the cushion. Some surgeons just allow the blood and scar tissue to congeal into a natural cushion during the healing process. This type of surgery has been performed for close to a century, which means it works well!

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